A $2.4 million road resurfacing project that runs though Johnstown on U.S. Route 62 is progressing well and could be completed sooner then expected.
The 10-mile project, which starts at the Licking County/Franklin County line and ends just to the east of Johnstown, began July 8 with a completion date of Nov. 15. Work is being done by Kokosing Construction Co. of Columbus.
"With things moving along as they are, as long as the weather cooperates, it will be completed before the November deadline," said Lauren Holdsworth, a spokeswoman for the Ohio Department of Transportation. "They have laid down the first layer of asphalt and are beginning to work on the next layer."
The work is being done starting at the county line and going east through Johnstown, meaning completion of the resurfacing in Johnstown likely would be the final leg of the project.
One lane of traffic is being maintained from 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Mondays through Fridays during construction. The state is funding the project.
Village Administrator Jim Lenner said he knows the construction is an inconvenience to motorists, especially during rush hour, but the end result is an improved highway.
"It's a small headache but will be nice when it gets done," he said. "We had received complaints about the road being full of potholes and cracks, so there's a time you need to fix it."
One construction-related problem occurred with a traffic signal on Route 62, near Wendy's, just west of downtown. The roadwork apparently damaged cables that control the timing cycle of the signal.
The cycle is too short now, especially during rush-hour traffic, Lenner said. That has resulted in some big traffic backups for motorists coming into the downtown on Route 62, he said. At other times of the day, the traffic-signal problem isn't as noticeable.
ODOT officials told village officials they would send a company to repair the problem, Lenner said.
He said a traffic study that was done several years ago showed that about 16,000 vehicles travel daily through the Route 62/Main Street (state Route 37) intersection in the village's downtown. That figure likely has risen a bit since the study was done, he said.
Local motorists have found ways to get around the construction, but others are encouraged to follow ODOT detours, officials said.
Route 62 had been closed for about six weeks while crews replaced a bridge near Walnut Street.